• Czech Republic,  Prague,  TravelTips,  Winter

    Valentine’s Day in Prague

    Even though this is my eighth winter in the Czech Republic, I still have never spent Valentine’s Day in Prague before. Valentine’s Day isn’t even the traditional Czech “day of love” (that would be the 1st of May) but you can’t deny that it is certainly has completely caught on! I know it’s a divisive day, with the main criticism that it is too commercialized, but my feeling is that it is whatever you want it to be. And who doesn’t love a chance to go celebrate a day of love and togetherness with someone special? After working (even during our half-term break! More on that in the next post…)…

  • Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Keep Smiling

    A conversation occurred this week (which I mentioned in this Instagram post) in which a certain secondary school-aged class of mine, when asked what they liked about České Budějovice could think of almost nothing, but then finally offered 1) The train station is near the bus station. (this is the case in almost every Czech city ever) 2) There are a lot of things and services here. (in comparison to a small village) And that was literally it. No single teenager in my class likes České Budějovice. This is something which I take with a couple grains of salt, of course because one, they’re teenagers and they don’t like anything,…

  • Budějovice,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    A Winter Cafe Day (with JORD)

    Ah, the half-term cafe date. We have a lot (a lottt) of annual traditions, but this one is perhaps the most simple yet satisfying one to inject a bit of magic into an otherwise humdrum winter Friday afternoon. Almost certainly I’ll have the afternoon off, so we’ll head out to a cafe. This time, we headed to Cafe au Chat de Noir, one of my favorites in town. The coffee doesn’t really blow your mind but more importantly: as soon as you step inside, you feel like you’ve been transported to a European cafe at the turn of the 20th century. At a time where hip, modern third-wave coffee bars…

  • Eats,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Recipe

    New Year, New Focus! + Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

    Hi, friends. I’ve written and re-written this post about three times for no other reason than I wasn’t really able to convey the sort of thing I wanted to, but giving it another go. I hope your New Year has been treating you well so far! The fact that I barely noticed we were past the middle of January means that the month’s been flying, but in a good way. Other winter seasons here in Budejovice have not always been entirely, how to I put this… successful for me. They may have started strong but I fell into some sort of anti-social, hibernatory rut and didn’t resurface in a good…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Yearly Recap

    The Books of 2019

    I know it’s called “the books” of 2019, but I mean merely, that they were books that defining the year for me – I make no big claims here. But now it’s time to take a look at favorite books, disappointing books, reading goals for this year, and generally how everything went. I just barely scraped by my Goodreads goal, just completing my 25 books in 2019. (welp, that went well!) The year before I’d managed over 30, so must’ve got stuck on some slog-reads again, but I feel good about having made it, of course. Rating them an average of 3.8/5, I’d say it was a pretty positive reading…

  • Bad Ischl
    Austria,  Budějovice,  Christmas,  TravelTips,  Winter

    An Austrian Alpine Holiday

    As it’s the last weekend of the holiday season, so a perfect opportunity to share a little bit about 2019’s holiday season and our Christmas spent in the Salzkammergut. Before we left, we had a nice relaxing weekend wrapping up the work year and taking in some tunes and last punches in our beautiful square. On our way home from doing some Saturday morning errands, I noticed a tree in the park near our house full of fruits and things tied on with a sign. (Below, with the message “Christmas tree for homeless people – Have a beautiful Christmas”) I love when whimsy and kindness intersect and to see this…

  • Life Abroad,  Travel,  Yearly Recap

    Year of Life & Travels: 2019

    Hello all! Hope you had beautiful holidays if you were celebrating! The Czech celebrating period seems to go for about two weeks so I am still enjoying the beautiful downtime, lit candles, all of our decorations and tree – this time is honestly one of my absolute favorites of the whole year, even though Christmas is over. We’ve just had a nice holidays in the Salzkammergut lake region of Austria, not very far at all from Salzburg (but in the smaller villages). I will post about it soon but I wanted to get to the annual and much anticipated (by me, if nobody else) ‘Year in Life and Travels’, 2019…

  • Austria,  Christmas,  czech culture,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    This Festive Season

    Sometimes people ask me if I’m going back to the States for Christmas and the answer always seems to be… no. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply enjoy being back in my hometown for the holidays, away from the big city bustle. Every year when we would get on that on-ramp away from Seattle, there was something incredibly peaceful about driving north on I-5 and watching the sprawl slip away. Driving around the island on Christmas Day, Sufjan Stevens‘ album always playing on the car stereo. The white skies, tall evergreens, the sea. Again, I have to use the word peaceful, but a certain, specific peace only this kind of…

  • Austria,  Autumn,  Language Learning,  Thoughts,  Travel

    Language Progress + Thoughts on Solo Travel

    “That was a really good lesson. I felt like we sort of… are getting it now, you know?” A moment Alex and I shared after our Czech lesson today. We started taking Czech language seriously in autumn 2015 – that means it’s been now over four years of really studying the language. Before that, I had taken a couple classes sporadically the year I first arrived although they didn’t amount to much as I was a total beginner in a class with people who clearly had some sort of grasp on the language and a teacher who couldn’t explain Czech grammar in my native tongue. Four years of serious study!…

  • Autumn,  Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    The Best Natural Cold-Busting Remedies

    Hi friends. This autumn cold season has hit unbelievably hard this year. At one point last month I think everyone I know was either sick, getting sick or just getting over a cold. Really nuts. But! Will you believe — and I swear this is true — that this fall alone I nearly got sick FOUR TIMES (as in, felt that initial tickle in the throat, started sneezing, runny nose, etc) but managed to turn that around sometimes within HOURS? It can be done! I wanted to pop in today and share just how the heck I have managed that — the quick answer is due to herbal remedies! I…